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Dear Wayne.

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Dear Wayne, As you will be playing Mercutio, in our school production of the unforgettable love story 'Romeo and Juliet' I thought it would be wise to inform you of the importance of hi character. First you must learn and understand the context of Shakespeare's tragic story of the late sixteenth century, which heavily influence' the role you will be portraying. As I have already informed you this play was written 400 years ago therefore you would expect the traditions and historical events to be very different from today. An example would be the arranged marriages. In the 1500's it was very common for the richer families to arrange the marriages fro their children. They would tend to marry of their kin when they were still young, a girl would be married after her 14th summer. Also, the majority of wealthy families preferred to keep their wealth within their family, and children, for that reason, would find themselves married to their cousins or perhaps to a wealthier man twice their age. Furthermore children would always obey their parent's demands; it was practically unheard of for a child to disobey their parents. The families living in the late sixteenth century, rich or poor, were on average exceptionally religious and did not believe in sex outside of wedlock, unlike a vast majority of the population today. All of these minor differences should be taken into careful consideration. Mercutio is such a crucial character and his role must be portrayed with such realism that even you, the actor, should believe that you are living in the 1500's. ...read more.


It is in this scene that he convinces Romeo to go to a party that is being thrown by his rival family the Capulets. It is being held in the Capulets mansion and Romeo is especially worried about the consequences of his presence at such a grand celebration. He is very reluctant and would have to be put under heavy persuasion to be won over. Fortunately Mercutio's words are persuasive and must be spoken with much enthusiasm. He is so imaginative that he creates a whole world just so that he can explain how our dreams are created. His speech about 'Queen Mab', the queen of the fairies, shows brilliantly Mercutio's creativity, intensity, love and hate. He puts all his emotions into this one essential speech. It shows that he does not believe in dreams and sees them purely as idle fantasies. This act also shows that Mercutio does not understand Romeo's need for love. Mercutio prefers to be independent and free and not want to share his life with anyone but his friends. In portraying Mercutio you must understand his independence, imaginatively. You must express his lines with true emotions as the lines are so influential to the rest of the play. If Romeo had not been convinced by Mercutio, he would not have gone to the party or met Juliet his love, therefore they would never have rejoined their families through their tragic deaths. Act III Scene I is the dramatic climax of the play. ...read more.


He had made a potion that Juliet would drink and it would make her seem dead, but she would later wake peacefully. In spite of his attempts to reach Romeo, Friar Lawrence could not. Therefore when Romeo sees Juliet lying deadly still with not a breath entering nor escaping her cold lifeless lips he takes his own life. But before his final breath Juliet stirs as if waking from a deep sleep and watches her love die. She then takes her life next to Romeo so that they will never have to be apart. Their tragic deaths causes their two families to finally come together and live in peace with each other. Non of this would have happened if Romeo had not been banished and the only reason he was banished was because he killed Tybalt because Tybalt had killed Mercutio. Therefore Act III Scene I is the turning point of the whole play. The audience should understand this but unfortunately you cannot tell them in the middle of the production. The only other way to draw their attention towards this important scene is to make it memorable. The emphasis on the play would make the audience remember it and later they may realize its true significance. Remember the important points of Mercutio's character, his impact on the rest of the play, if you consider all of these important points you will portray Mercutio and show his true personality. I have faith in you and feel that you will do your part justice. Don't loose your confidence and remember, Mercutio's character carries the comedy and his death IS the turning point of the whole play. Yours Mrs. Verona of English in Drama department. ...read more.

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